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Bringing Zen HomeThe Healing Heart of Japanese Women's Rituals$
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Paula Arai

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835354

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835354.001.0001

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Domestic Zen

Domestic Zen

Living Esoteric Wisdom

(p.108) Chapter 4 Domestic Zen
Bringing Zen Home

Paula Arai

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses the concept of domestic Zen and how it helps Japanese Buddhist women deal with a wide range of challenges, from difficulty in giving birth to problems with child-rearing, caring for the elders, a terminal diagnosis, and death by natural and unnatural causes such as war, suicide, and homicide. Domestic Zen is based on Dōgen’s teaching that “practice is enlightenment.” Ritualized behaviors in Sōtō Zen are practices. Practice is ritualized activity done in accord with wisdom and compassion. This chapter examines the rituals and practices of domestic Zen and how they contribute to the Way of healing paradigm. Drawing on the category of healing ritual, it considers the dynamics that are central to the women who engage in and create domestic Zen.

Keywords:   domestic Zen, Japanese Buddhist women, birth, death, Dōgen, Sōtō Zen, ritual, healing, wisdom

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